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No title.
(2014-04-03 - Now)
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Zerum Before he was so violently side-tracked from his original quest, Zerum had been residing in Mysidia, where he had been in the process of studying numerous texts that he felt had a potential to help him learn a few things about the Blue Planet-- no, he was not currently in that world, but the way he saw it, things were always changing, so just as it had been swallowed up by the Heartless, so too could the World of Ruin maybe become overrun by the Lunarians, if the powerful seers from above chose to descend. It was indeed speculation who was actually a stronger force, considering that every single Lunarian, to Zer's knowledge, was almost an army unto themselves, compared to humans, who ranged from incredibly infirm to god-like at their paramount....

The dark elf heard the Red Moon was a harsh climate, from what few tomes he had uncovered, so it made sense that on average, the Lunarians single-handedly tackle behemoths, or abominations of that caliber. Nevertheless, even if the odds happened to have been only somewhat stacked in favor of the Shadow Lords, the drow found it hard to imagine that beings such as KluYa couldn't've been that far behind in the 'arms race', and felt he could learn a thing or two from them, alas that even Mysidia appeared to house meager data on this enigmatic race! This would bring our anti-hero to the Tramdine Fens, which was littered with, appropriately enough, lots of muddy ooze. Rotten logs were stretched out from dry patches of the marsh to yet more undampened spaces, acting as bridges between quicksand.

It was mostly untamed, but some of the local swamp-folk had deliberately designed a few pathways so they could negotiate the mire to afford them opportunities to hunt turtles, giant frogs, fish, and raccoons, without having to use their boats to get across the more watery regions. There were also undead to contend with, but they were experienced in which areas tended to have less; Lord Zerum Valos had no such information at his disposal, so, for all he knew, he'd be prone towards having to slice a swathe through enemies that might come his way, whether undead, reptilian, or Heartless in nature! The Fens were a short-cut to Mysidia from Cornelia(where the ship he was on had to improvisationally land upon, due to difficult meteorological conditions!), from whence the drow had originated, yet, the cutting that would be involved might've been rather intense, if he was unlucky enough. Right now, he was resting on a tree-stump, a brief intermission after which he'd resume his travels.
Leida In a world of monsters and sorcery, no place is ever truly safe from the bizzare. Even cloistered within their cities of stone and steel the humans and their various look-a-likes must always be wary. Monsters and bandits roam the lands beyond those small hubs of civilization eager for fresh prey. The established roads and thoroughfares provide some measure of protection through sheer presense of numbers but even that is no guarantee against the blade of a deperate man or the fangs of a hungry predator.

Away from the safety of the civilized trade routes all bets are off. Only the brave or the foolish dare to trepass into the untamed domains of the wilderness where the monsterous inhabitants still roam freely and survival of the fittest is the only natural law. The few meager pathways that stretch through the fens look more like animal trails than roads and the presense of non-human prints far outnumbers those left by the local hunters.

Strangely, Zerum's progress since stepping into the fetid domain has been largely unimpeded. What little native fauna have shown themselves to him have been skittish and fled almost immediately. Even the constant gentle breeze carries with it only the persistent smell of rotten matter, lacking the subtle sounds of nature that should be all around him. Only the thick brambles and moss-laden vines hanging from above have required the touch of his blade.

The silence is shattered rather suddenly by the sound of a soft feminine laugh. It echoes throughout the trees in a haunting ghostly manner for several seconds, impossibly seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Zerum Having been raised in a culture where a stab in the dark during one's sleep was commonplace, Zerum was not unfamiliar with dangerous environments, so commuting through a swamp known for a few problematic ghouls wasn't an alien concept in that there were risks to his health. Most of the denizens of the fens weren't of substantial rank, and would be revered by Lord Valos as 'delays' in his progression, more than actual threats to his person, and moreover, since the mire wasn't teeming with life to the degree of a dense wood, this meant less noise; his powers would be hampered very little, save for the lack of available metal nearby.

The jolly sounds that echo through the trees cause a mild irritation to the drow, but not enough to worry him veritably, even if he suspected it might've been some kind of undead overlord who could command as sensibly as a vampire, or lich.... High-powered they may be, it was yet to be said if they were on his trail, or someone else's, beyond that, as a master of terran/shadow manipulation, he could return ashes to ashes and dust to dust as simply as a lord of the undead might animate wretched fiends born of darkness or dirt; other elemental alignments weren't his specialty, and had the capacity to prove more troublesome.

What would be viewed as fortune in Valos' mind was that the marsh was fundamentally the stomping grounds for creatures that came from the ground..... All that aside, the resounding of bellowing motivates him to proceed, lest he encumber himself needlessly with an enemy that might otherwise be avoided for lack of an encounter, if he happened to be absent when they eventually arrived where he will have been located. Off he goes, his gait at a steady, unhastened speed, imagining the chances of having to deal with a genuine concern were lesser, as opposed to greater.
Leida Unfortunately, it seems the wandering knight will not be blessed with such luck this day. The laughter follows him as he resumes his trek, always seeming to come from just at the edge of perception like a shadow in the corner of one's eye that's gone the moment you look for it. This annoying phenomenon persists for several minutes without end until finally whatever is toying with him grows bored of being ignored.

The faint glow of the sunlight through the withered trees dims suddenly, a pall of inky blackness sweeping from out of nowhere to blight the sky as completely as a moonless night. Strangely, despite the absence of light, everything remains mostly visible as if highlighted by a faint inner glow though the appearance of the world takes a turn for the worst.

The trees become yet more twisted and gnarled, their stretching branches curling into twisted claws and deadly thorns the size of swords that bristle menacingly like an aggitated porcupine. The pools of tepid water that fill the marsh have turned a sickly purple color and the already cloying scent of putrid air becomes akin to that of a charnel house. Even the grass beneath his feet seems to cling about his armored boots as if trying to drag him down into a murky grave.

Once the transition to the dark realm of shadows is complete, a brilliant ball of green flame sparks to life in the distance. It weaves among the trees almost playfully, vanishing in one place only to reappear on the opposite side a few moments later.
Zerum A fortuitous day was not to be scheduled for Zerum, in defiance of the fact that the majority of his trek was unblemished by signs or presences of things that would've blocked his path, or worse; this was becoming rapidly apparent as the visible light in the vicinity dimmed, while still somehow offering silhouettes and mildly inverted hues of the natural world, that would've ordinarily been the only reprieve for those who relied on such things for guidance. As it just so happened, the drow's keen gravitation towards vibrations were part of his ancestry, rivaling that what bats could replicate, if not better, lending to him the power to see physical form where standard visibility failed.

On the other hand, because Zer was not actually /blind/, he could see this was not any normal kind of recession of light, but an eerie, desecration of the world's flow, an ebb that didn't exactly stymie light.... but mutilated it in some bizarro manner suggesting this was hardly the work of a cloud blotting the sun, or nightfall encroaching. Something was afoot.... something supernatural. It was like some hideous corona around an eclipsed sun which still germinated luminosity, but in an anomalous medium which registered as incompatible with the human psyche. Lord Valos, on the other hand, was anything but human, and having been accustomed to the dark arts for so long, the phenomena before him was faintly disconcerting, but nothing that scared him out of his wits, if that were even a possibility at all; for him, this resembles a large blip on his radar, rather than an explosion of the screen preceded by alarms screeching in a deafening manner.

It was startling enough for him to draw his blade, because he knew that charades like this involved deities and sub-deities, instead of mere mortals, which were more easily dispatched. With the alien realm of twilight now spewing forth a green ball of fire, Zerum is on his guard more than ever, although his heading remains the same.... towards Mysidia. His internal compass works just fine, but he can only hope that his sword works just as well. The entity in his midst has his attention, for certain, but he's still determined to reach his destination.
Leida Well, that got a little more reaction but not the sort that the one responsible for this nonsense was hoping for. The floating ball of fire slowly continues on its drifting circular path among the phantom trees but with each rotation is draws inexorably closer, an invisible noose tightening around the elf.

When it has finally drawn close, the entity vanishes behind another tree as per usual but this time it does not return immediately. Several seconds pass before a nagging sense of being watched might cause Zerum to turn around where he will find the floating sorcerous orb merely a few feet behind him.

It simply hovers there for a few silent seconds, bouncing lightly in the air as if regarding him with curiosity. But once again the haunting laughter floatings liltingly into the air and its clear for once that the source is the ball of flame.

There is a bright flash of green light and the fireball collapses on itself, shrinking until it is little more than a dull glow. Slowly, new shapes begin to emerge from the darkness around it. The figure of a tall woman takes shape, her sultry curves accentuated by a form-fitting robe of some sort. Her face takes on features of exquisite beauty the likes rarely seen among humans. This suspicion is given more credibility as her neatly bound hair gives rise to a pair of fuzzy fox-like ears atop her head which draws attention to the multitude of equally animalistic tails that protrude from the base of her back.

The final thing to take shape is a slender pole held in her hands. It emerges from the darkness inch-by-inch until it reaches the small remnants of the green fireball and opens up to engulf it, taking on the form of a large hanging lantern.

The woman, if she is actually that, lifts the lantern pole with both hands so that the soft emphemeral light that is gives off illuminates both of their faces. She offers a coy smirk to the knight, the strange light seeming to make her already enchanting beauty all the more alluring.

"Well, well. It is not often that I have visitors to my domain who are not smelly fisherman or dirty bandits. You simply must stay and chat."
Zerum If there was one thing that could be said about the Valii, it would be that they were unpredictable. Zerum Valos, no exception to the rule, might not have ferried to his pursuer whatever reaction she wanted in the exact form that she desired, yet, giving her attention at all was something that made her special, for when Echo and Morrighan had tried to coerce certain behaviors out of the dark knight, they were received with cynical conviction; a cold resolve that wouldn't assuage them in the least.

He does observe the peculiar spectacles of light and shade which seem to dance about, bending the evident aesthetics of his atmosphere in a nightmarish fashion, despite the fact that this in itself still does little to daunt him to the point that he'd become a blubbering puddle of docility... that was simply not his way. It might not be said that he was the most brave of folks either, but his level of desperate cowardice ranged in the nil territory, simply for deficiency of attachment, comparatively speaking. Nonetheless, he's not do distant from his desire to preserve his life that he uncaringly would disregard the unholy developments with total dispassion, so when the oddball kitsune(?) lady appears with a lantern-pole, which she uses to shine the light on both their faces so that they may see each other, Zer keeps his sword trained on her, patiently.

"If you resort to these kinds of theatrics as often as you get visitors who are unlike myself, it's no mystery why those of quality don't immigrate through this region in frequency; most people need eyes to see, who are not of my pedigree, and you turned down the lights rather markedly....." He keeps a non-expressive countenance as he speaks; vacancy of facial muscles notwithstanding, he's still most likely trying to be witty. "Since you wish to chat, I fathom this is where we start with small talk." He nods his head to the side, and a little bit upward, indicating the sky, and his overall surroundings, ".....How about this weather we're having, eh? I think it could use mother-nature's touch....." obviously, it had been given a woman's touch, but not the right kind of woman.
Leida The fox-woman just smiles at Zerum's attempt at humor. "Oh, but theatrics are so much /fun/. Better than mucking about through slime and dead fish, wouldn't you say?"

She turns slowly to the side and begins to stalk around him in a small circle, always staying just out of reach. The lantern rattles softly on the end of its hook but otherwise she makes no noise as she paces. Infact, there seems to be very little ambient sound here at all save for the subtle crackling of the wind through dead branches.

As the woman walks, the lantern leaves in its wake a faint green mist. The aroma is one of strong incense but rather than burn at the lungs and eyes it feels rather relaxing, as if the day's exertion is melting away. Unlike most smoke, however, the mist does not dissolve into the air as time passes, but slowly begins to build up around the two of them like a cloud and its calming effects grow steadily stronger.

"I must admit to being rather curious why a mortal creature such as yourself would brave such dangerous lands. For expediency? Is there something important that clouds your sense of caution~?"
Zerum The dark elf remains focused on his surroundings, and that involved the inclusion of the woman's words, "You are correct. Tha is not something I would say." So.... he prefers sloshing through ichor and rancid icthyoids to amusing himself? A quick mind would have picked up the possibility of a contradiction, if that was what he meant, since on the one hand, he was making japes, but on the other, he was claiming that he'd rather deal with mush than merriment.

One thing was soothing; the quiet way in which the area functioned, almost like a throwback to the dark pits in which he was raised from his youth, where the rhythmically consistent drip of water droplets from stalactites offered tranquility to ears that could pierce the absolute nothing which comprised the interior of the solitary chasms. The silence was enough to give rise to a change in Zer's attitude, when combined with the unusual mist that was concocted to dispel some of the tension in the air; it didn't lull him into inattentiveness.... but his stance shifted from a widened, anchored one to that of a more upright position, insinuating that he might've been willing to put more thought into lashing out, instead of reacting on instincts.

The saber was still maintained as the drow made mental notes of where things were located, "My sense of caution gives me enough fear to acknowledge that there are goals worth achieving, while also not being so excessive as to think that anything in any world could walk around enough eggshells to allow said thing to elude finality. Nothing that is subject to origination is exempt from cessation..... That is simply the nature of all reality. The self-deluded rampantly believe otherwise, and for being fools, they will pay fools' prices." Zerum rolls his shoulders, "....Now it's my turn to ask a question. What gives you cause to refer to this as /your/ domain?"
Leida Rolling her eyes at the excessively verbose manner in which the visitor speaks, the engimatic woman continues to pace in her slow circles in an almost ritualistic fashion. The cloud of incense continues to thicken continously to the point that visibility beyond the small path she has been trodding becomes increasingly limited.

"Oh dear, it seems I've allowed a philosopher to wander into my lands. How dreadfully dreary."

She stops for moving finally, standing in the same place where she started, though that may be difficult to tell after spinning about for so long. The glow of the lantern allows her to be seen clearly through the haze of smoke and she gives the elf another alluring smile.

"It is my domain because I chose to make it so and no one has come along who is capable of telling me otherwise." She dips the lantern torwards him." As such, I require a toll be paid by those who wish to cross."
Zerum Zerum lightly waves his hand before his face as if to disperse some of the incense, since it was becoming so concentrated, though it doesn't seem to do too much in the vein of his desired outcome. With no more real questions being asked, and only declarative statements being tossed around, Valos has little to argue against, until she proclaims the area hers by virtue of being strong enough to hold it without any real dispute-- it's at this point Lord Valos grunts, "If I'm so dreary, I'd think you'd be glad to rid yourself of me, and be thankful that I take my leave rather than remain, so asking me to pay you sounds like dissuasion towards departure."

He lightly flaps the tip of his sword, in a semi-challenging fashion, but hasn't taken any aggressive actions yet, ".....In any case, what's the toll? I'm a practical man, and I have to weigh how much it'll cost my pool of resources to appease you, versus how much it'll cost my health if I decide to appease the god of death with your head. Skirmishes are seldom accompanied without taxation on one's body, after all...."

The drow frowns, ".....So, name your price, and waste not my time, or your own.... If we're to both die in a pond of each others' innards and blood, then let's not delay; the sooner I self-revive, the better...." Evidently, he was either bluffing, or Zerum was not quite as mortal as one might have surmised. On the other hand, dark elves from the Blue Planet were a rarity in the World of Ruin, and who knew what powers they possessed, amongst their predisposition towards magnetism?
Leida The spirit closes her eyes and just quietly ignores the rambling mountain of words that comes pouring out in response to her own statements. But she does get the gist of his attempt to put on a display of bravado. She takes a step back and the mist engulfs her completely, her haunting laughter echoing through a mischievous smile.

"The price of my toll... is your soul, mortal."

A horrific screech shatters the unnatural silence. Something massive surges among the incense cloud its form muted into a ghastly silhouette of claws and teeth. A long slender claw easily the size of a sword scythes into the small clearing without warning, aiming to cut the elf down and a torrential flood of darkness erupts from its length.
Zerum His display of bravado was mostly, in truth, to try and whittle down the price a little bit so that she might be inclined to think he wasn't liable to just give up without any fight at all, /IF/ she planned to charge too steep a cost. The reality was that if her price had been a reasonable one, he might've been willing to submit, since he wasn't so egotistical as to think he was the most badass lord of the dark sword in the entirety of the World of Ruin. Zerum can't tell if his 'threat' spurred her to attack, or if she actually had planned to slaughter him from the very start, but he almost wished he hadn't thrown in those extra barbs, since.... win or lose, this would be inconveniencing at the bare minimum, and fatal at the absolute worst.

When she demands his soul, he drops his posture so that it's heavier, and more firmly planted in the ground, allowing him to maybe defend better, "....Well I can see that you're nothing but greedy, since you apparently want to take my body from me, too!", which he denotes, since she's trying to slaughter him with her titanic claw! It does a good number on him, too, because it digs into his armor, forcibly pushing him backwards as his feet create skidmarks in the soil where he stood. He winces at this, demonstrating that it did cause him displeasure, but is swift to retaliate, and unleashes a slash-oriented attack of his own.... he sends blades formed from shadowy matter with gravitational impetus at her, in the hopes that they'll converge on her person as they disperse outwards, then zero in on her.
Leida The shadow swords tear into the mist and find purchase which elicits a hiss of pain from whatever lurks in the shadows beyond. Rather than attack again immediately the creature shambles about, shifting its position every few moments as if unable to keep still. The clatter of what sounds like armor accompanies the movements creating an constant clicking sound.

"Greedy? Hmm hmm, an amusing sentiment coming from a mortal. Your kind does nothing but take what you wish and lust over that which you cannot have."

The shadows grow a little deeper as she speaks, a sense of ominious dark power stirring, but no attack is forthcoming yet. Perhaps she's reconsidered fighting someone that can defend himself. Or maybe she's just waiting for an opportunity.
Zerum The hiss clues Zerum to the fact that he's injured the kitsune, else she's putting on quite a good show, which serves as encouragement in the event that he decides to try another attack, but since she keeps changing position, he takes a moment to collect his bearings and try to clean out his system a little bit.

The sickening magic that was grouped with her talon-attack had sapped his strength, so he tensed up his body, releasing energy from his inner spirit, which allowed him to bolster his external defenses both mentally and physically. As she taunts him, he's not one to take the abuse passively, especially if he feels her words are unfair, and calls out, "You say I take what I wish as though some fickle, whimsical glutton, but here you are waltzing into this swamp and arbitrarily calling it your own. I call shenanigans, oh thing whose nature I do not /fully/ know, but know enough from self-confession to realize that you are also a taker! Now then, are we to continue this game, or do I pass to my destination without additional harassment.....?"
Leida "I think I'm going to have a little more fun first. Your essence is quite invigorating."

A burst of invisible power explodes into Zerum, a foul dark wind that tugs at his very soul as if it were a thread of yarn, attempting to unravel it in a slow torturous fashion. Another claw lances out of the darkness and then another, twin reaping blades that drip with black magic and suffering as they close in from each side in an attempt to snatch the cocky elf up like scissors.
Zerum Zerum Valos grumbles as she proposes to keep the combat going awhile longer, but if she's going to insist, then he's not one to spoil her evening by denying her a competitor. Honestly, he'd consider making a break for it, except that the last time he was in Mysidia, nobody came to his aid when he was befallen by two accosters, which meant that as her quarry, he was unlikely to receive much protection if he did make it to the city limits.... so it was going to be a fight to the death, unless he could force a retreat out of her-- he didn't expect much mercy, being that she claimed she wanted his soul, although.... for all he knew, this was just some ruse, and the crazy femme fatale had ulterior motives.

The invisible power that bombards him as absorptive blades shear into his body in a coinciding manner knock him off his feet as he clenches his teeth, once more showing that he was not experiencing much bodily comfort at what was going on. Zer made a note to reconsider using a main road, next time.... maybe. Meanwhile, he sprung back up to his feet and raised both arms, calling forth a wreaking energy about his person, which started to expand outwards.

Drawing out from within, as before, a gargantuan inferno born of gravitational force laced with nightmarish life-force all its own was spawned, with twiggy striations of electrical energy snaking about its outer surface and occasionally melding into the globular mass, betraying the nature of Lord Valos' true essence, as well as what a taste of his potential held. Detonation transpires after, with the celestial darkness bursting at the seams, sending shockwaves outwards towards the psychotic mistress, aiming to twist and bend her within its explosive grasp, while simultaneously being designed to wrench at her core-psyche. The results vary with each individual, but if she was not immune to darkness, and electromagnetic energy, then there was a fair probability that without a barrier of some kind, it would gyrate her body as well as her mind....!
Leida "What, no more of your endless drivel to spout? Nothing about the nature of 'fun' and the exact composition of your 'immortal' essence?"

A faint chuckle echoes around as the dark knight's life force flows from his wounds into the claws as they retract once more into the cover of shadow and mist. That laughter dies out as the sphere of dark magnetism erupts to life, however. Bolts of black thunder stab into the air and the ground as the gravitational anomaly lets loose its terrible force, sucking away the mists and darkness to finally reveal the form of that which he faces.

A claw lashes out from the terrible monster that crouches before him, slashing the magical orb in half and shattering its hold over the area. Easily the size of an elephant, the creature appears to be some sort of demonic oversized spider. In place of an insectoid maw, a woman's face is present, long flowing black hair draping freely about her head. Her legs are each tipped with one of the deadly curved claws, two of which drip with the fresh blood drawn from Zerum's wounds.

The fox woman stands atop the spider-thing, lantern in hand and smiles down at the knight once again. "Clever, little elf. But will it be enough to save you?"

Urged into motion by its mistress' taunting, the creature lunges to attack once again. It seems somewhat less sure of itself this time, however, its strike cautious and reserved as if being in the open makes it uncomfortable.
Zerum Zerum watches as his assault manages to force a transformation of some kind-- if he were more experienced in the ways of his kind, and more advanced, he too might be able to morph into an unfathomably sinister black dragon, ala the kind that the king of Dark Elves could become at will, but as mentioned before..... he has no luck on this day. With that kept in mind, it's intimidating for the drow to have to face a mutant arachnid who has the volume of several thousand pounds on her side, so he decides to err on the side of caution for the time being.

While the beast seeks to damage him, its degree of low-confidence is revealed when it trepidatiously lunges in a half-hearted manner, causing Zer to bat at the thing's claw with his sword, deflecting some of the imminent damage that would might've ordinarily created some gashes in his mail, which was already looking mildly tattered from the altercation. Countering, Zerum swings his sword, and launches at both monster and madam a pair of wedge-like funnels with sharpened ends.... composed of crimson plasma, designed to pierce their bodies, and then draw their aura out, so that the drow can replenish his own. "There are annihilationists, and there are eternalists.... in conventional society. I take a different approach than either of those belief systems, so immortality, to me may, or may not be a credible theory. First you call me dreary, then you taunt me in an attempt to solicit an argument of some kind...." He barks, "Do you want me to speak or shut my trap? Make up your mind, witch!"
Leida The bloody lances drill into the spider's body, earning Zerum an ear-splitting wail as the creature flails about in pain while its life force is drawn away. The kitsune frown slightly as her ride bucks back and forth but she appears to have no difficulty maintaining her balance despite being wrapped in a rather constrictive kimono.

Waving her hand over the lantern, she draws up a thick plume of incense smoke into the air which then quickly swirls down into the spider's open wounds. The smoke fills the gaps and prompts a reaction, causing the wounded flesh to knit together yet again as if nothing had happened.

"You're not very bright, are you?"

Enraged by Zerum's attack, the spider demon rushes him again but this time it does not hold back. The beautiful woman's face twists up into an angry snarl, revealing rows of razor sharp teeth clearly designed for ripping flesh. It screams at him, sending another wave of invisible soul-rending force before bringing a claw around to smash his weapon aside so that it get its horrible jaws upon his body.
Zerum The spider is brought to ruin, only to be revived by the woman's strange arcana, which causes the fellow to furrow his brow.... unlike most dark knights, he wears a thorned-crown, so his facial features show, allowing the witch to take sight of his disappointment. "Bright is not an adjective that should ever describe a /DARK/ knight, miss."

He says, as the demon surges at him, aiming to blitz him with all its might. On the other hand, because it places so much labor into the forcefulness of the attack, it fails to fuel the barrage with as much accuracy as is necessary to really pull off an effective maneuever. Using his geokinetic powers, Valos is able to promptly excavate a wall of stone from the ground, which allows him to side-step the creature while the barricade offers a buffer that surely alters the direction of the path that was being employed by the spider. The wall shatters after behaving as a cushion, while Zerum channels his inner strength once more, enabling an empowering surge of energy through his system, awakening increased defensive, and offensive potentials.....
Leida The spider demon gets a mouthful of dirt for its efforts and recoils off the makeshift wall before shattering it with several angry slashes. Rather than attack again, however, it backs off carefully until it sits well out of reach of the dark knight's strange magic.

Tapping a finger on her cheek, the kitsune frowns slightly, looking thoughtful for several long moments. Finally, she comes to a decision and waves her lantern around in a small circle, spilling more of the incense into the air.

"I've grown bored of this," she announces, the evidence clear in her dismissive tone. "Do as you will."

The phantasmal shadows that have twisted the landscape begin to fade away like a bad dream as the spider and its rider turn to trundle off into the forest. A faint haze of mist pours forth from the lantern to obscure their forms which grow hazy around their edges until finally only the soft ethereal glow of the green fireball remains.

A few moments later that winks out as well leaving Zerum all alone once more. Unfortunately, the spirit has played one final prank on him for he stands at the edge of the Fens - on the side he started at.
Zerum In excellent health, Zerum suspected that he could have lasted for a good span longer, but just as easily as the brawl commenced, it dissolves, with the strange woman deciding to make her retreat. Her claim was that the affair was tiresome, but mayhap it was something she grew weary of because she'd seemingly made so little headway, while he was administering some good blows, on the iverse. It was plausible that the thing he fought was in disguise, or an illusion entirely, but his bet was that whatever it was.... there was some truth to its corporeality, thus.... he'd achieved /some/ form of victory, since he outlasted the thing's will to suck out his soul.

Sheathing his sword, he folded his arms across his chest when the sorceress left him for other engagements; the dark knight was grateful that he had was in a condition that was prime enough for him to walk to Mysidia without a problem, until it occurs to him that he has somehow been teleported back to his starting point! The dark elf wasn't fooled by the physical appearances that had materialized and changed before his eyes, because he was attuned to the magnetic force of the nickel and iron core of the planetary body, which even weak compasses could sense the magnetism of; that wasn't ever an issue. The problem was dealing with irritating spells that could change his location in the blink of an eye, against which he had little defense.....

With the Fens still awaiting him, Zer became disillusioned with the idea of going back to that town of wizards where he'd been treated so poorly, and decided to head towards Baron. It was entirely within the realm of feasibility that having gotten so close to Mysidia, one of the mages saw him coming, and wanted to deter him, so they took it upon themselves to warp him back to square one. If the Mysidians are going to keep behaving so unprofessionally, Zerum is going to have to re-prioritize, and visit when their attitudes towards dark knights have changed for the better. Well.... at least he didn't have to pay a toll!

This scene contained 23 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Zerum